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DSC_0007It was not so long ago that Friuli was almost exclusively a red wine region. Then, about fifty years ago, the move to white began. There was clearing and grubbing until the region could develop into the Italian centre of white wine. The local "Ribolla Nera" (Schioppettino) and similar old grape varieties no longer stood a chance. Red wine also had to be adapted to the "taste of the times": Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, international grape varieties, are now the dominant red grapes in Friuli. They are the basis for the red flagship wines of the region. The Montsclapade is such a wine, a "Bordeaux Blend", 60 % Cabernet Sauvignon and 40 % Merlot, matured in French barriques. It needs bottle ageing and only reaches its actual drinking maturity after five or more years.